With three leading further and higher education institutions and nearly 800 students, Oban is a leading education destination. A new project launched this spring that involves residents, business community groups and young people will work to assure Oban reaches its full potential as a university town.
Students at the SAMS UHI campus in Dunstaffnage, Oban. Image courtesy of SAMS UHI.
The project, called Oban as a University Town (OAUT) focuses on the area’s distinctive assets and employment opportunities and aims to provide an outstanding experience for students and staff in terms of teaching, practical work, enterprise, leisure and cultural activities and community engagement. This, in turn, will contribute to local economic and population growth by attracting and retaining young people and qualified staff. It will enhance creativity, innovation, and the formation and growth of local businesses.
Lucinda Gray, head of projects and partnerships at HIE, said:
“The ambition for the project is to foster economic growth, retain and grow our working age population. This goal will be pursued by ensuring a good range of courses that are relevant to our economy and that will ultimately provide a well-skilled work force to to support business growth and development.”
Partners in the OAUT project include Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS UHI), Argyll College UHI and Ballet West, as well as Oban High School, Bid4Oban, Argyll & Bute Council and Skills Development Scotland.
Professor Donald MacLean, Chair of the Oban: A University Town project, said:
“It is fantastic to be involved in such an exciting project at this early stage. As a local resident myself, a key priority is to work closely with local people, businesses, community groups and other organisations. It is an ambitious project, but I feel confident that we will have strong foundations in place and look forward to all that is ahead in the coming years.”
For more information and to get involved, visit https://www.obanunitown.org